RoR: Disappear & Sprint Cooldowns
Two of the changes coming to wargs with Riders of Rohan are a reduction in the cooldown of two of our skills: Disappear/Topple and Sprint. Each skill will have its base cooldown reduced to 5 minutes whilst each skill will have an associated trait that will reduce the cooldown further to 3 minutes. Given that freep tears over these two skills could fill an ocean you would imagine that there would be a hefty dose of QQ associated with these cooldown reductions. You’d be right.
What’s the Problem?
I’m not going to go over every individual piece of QQ because this post simply isn’t long enough, but it will suffice to encapsulate the general idea behind the QQ. What it comes down to is that some are worried that with shorter cooldowns these two skills can be used to allow wargs to escape more than they do at the moment and that such cooldowns will promote a ‘low risk/high reward’ style of gameplay as a result.
Why This Isn’t A Problem
Freeing Trait Slots
The first thing to say is not every warg is actually going to slot these traits. I can hear the guffaws at that statement already, but let’s examine the issue more closely. At the moment wargs have a number of traits that are generally considered to be necessities. These include: Enhanced Skill: Stealth, Shadow Fang, Enhanced Skill: Sprint and Enhanced Skill: Disappear. Many wargs simply never unslot these traits because they are so useful that they border on being vital.
Now what if wargs had the functionality of both Enhanced Skill: Sprint and Enhanced Skill: Disappear without having to trait for it? In other words both skills on a 5 minute cooldown as standard. Well that would mean that the warg has just managed to free up two very valuable class trait slots. That’s no small prize let me assure you and there will be many wargs who are perfectly happy with the standard 5 minute cooldown and use those two trait slots to work in other traits to vary their build.
The Status Quo
Now some wargs will of course slot these traits and have the reduced 3 minute cooldowns for both Disappear/Topple and Sprint. That still isn’t a major problem though. There are two main reasons for this and the first is that it will make really very little difference compared with warg gameplay at the moment.
As things currently stand both Disappear/Topple and Sprint can be on 5 minute cooldowns. Taking another 2 minutes off those cooldowns really won’t alter how a warg plays in any substantial way. Those who keep both skills purely for escape and never fight without them will likely be the sort of players who will go to Grams and wait for the cooldowns to reset after each fight. A reduced cooldown won’t alter that to any great degree, they will simply have to wait 2 minutes less and they will still have both skills available for escape just as they do right now. Equally if the cooldown on these two skills was increased to, for example, 20 minutes, those same sort of payers would do the exact same thing, only they would be waiting a bit longer.
In either case a warg who is absolutely determined to use these skills to escape can do that right now, just as they can with Riders of Rohan and just as they can if the cooldown was 10 times as long. For wargs determined to escape this really isn’t a major alteration to their gameplay.
The second point to make here is perhaps the counterpart to the above point. For those wargs who don’t use these skills purely for escape, but use them offensively too these changes are actually a major boost. Reduced cooldowns actually encourage more offensive use of these skills.
A skill on a long cooldown is usually seen as ‘something to be saved for an emergency’. You don’t burn a 10 minute cooldown just for the sake of it, you tend to try and save it for when you feel you really need it. A skill on a 3 minute cooldown though doesn’t feel quite so sacrosanct, it isn’t such a long cooldown that you feel that you can’t press that button unless you absolutely need to. That means that you feel a little easier about using such a skill on a more regular basis. In the case of these two skills that means that you can work them into an offensive role more easily.
It’s worth briefly mentioning the fact that neither Disappear nor Sprint is an automatic escape card. Both skills can be countered by freeps who use their heads. No skill is completely infallible and likewise both Disappear and Sprint have their weaknesses. Instead of looking at these skills as magic buttons that let a warg always get away it would be a better idea to look at what works against them. There are plenty of ways to mitigate their effectiveness (and no I am not going to share those ways with you!).
These changes are a good thing, not just for wargs, but for PvMP in general. There will always be some wargs who absolutely will not use either skill for anything other than escape and that isn’t going to change. However, there are many wargs who use these skills for both escape and offensive manoeuvres, but with relatively long cooldowns they sometimes feel they shouldn’t/can’t use them offensively. Reducing the cooldowns frees up these wargs to use these skills more often. That means that not every warg is always going to get away, but it also means that wargs have a chance of getting kills more often too.